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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

What are my Executor Duties in Canada?

what are my executor duties?

So you’ve been made an Executor, but what does that actually mean?

Your Executor duties are quite extensive (it takes about two years to close an estate in Canada) but not to worry, we have a free Executor Guide that can help you every step of the way.

Want a sneak peek?

You can see the complete** list of your responsibilities below.

**This is a complete list of basic executor tasks only. Each estate is different and may require different actions. For example, one testator could be a small business owner and an organ donor while another is not. Be sure to review your duties and their timeline for completion with a legal professional. Don’t have a legal professional? You can find one here.

Executor Duties:

  • Prepare/Organize funeral arrangements
  • Arrange care of pets
  • Arrange special requests (i.e. organ donation)
  • Identify and cover immediate cash requirements (i.e. rent and utilities)
  • Publish an obituary
  • Obtain the original death certificate
  • If they were a sole or controlling shareholder of a business, ensure proper coverage
  • Collect important estate information like bank accounts and SIN numbers
  • Collect property information and documents like deeds and mortgages
  • Review home insurance
  • If they owned rental properties, inform their tenants to rediect rent payments
  • Obtain keys to any owned property and consider changing the locks
  • Collect passwords to social media accounts, subscriptions, email, telephone billing, etc.
  • Connect with key contacts like financial advisor, lawyer, and executor liability insurance providers
  • Arrange for a review of their investment portfolio
  • Review auto insurance
  • Create an inventory list of all valuable possessions (jewlery, family heirlooms)
  • Review the Will
  • Contact and meet with the beneficiaries
  • Set up an estate bank account
  • If there are any charitable donations specified in the will, notify the organization
  • Confirm completion of tax returns for the past 6 years
  • Complete the current year’s tax return
  • Notify third-parties like Passport Canada and Canada Post
  • Contact service providers such as cable to cancel services
  • Determine if any personal assets are missing
  • Seek legal assistance to help with foreign assets, if applicable
  • Evaluate all financial assets with a financial advisor
  • Arrange life insurance payments
  • Arrange RRSP payments
  • Application to the Court for Appointment as Executor (Probate)
  • Notify and pay any outstanding creditors and debts using estate funds
  • Pay all professional fees involved (financial, legal, etc.)
  • Distribute assets to beneficiaries
  • Close executor bank account


Continue Learning

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Free Executor Guide

Executor Preparation Course

Can I include pets in my will?

How to prepare your executor and your estate

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